Skip to main content

Full text of "A history of Persia"

See other formats

164                  HISTORY OF PERSIA                 CHAP.
Tartars, and its remoteness in comparison with China
and Persia, probably saved Western Europe. But the
Mongols riveted their yoke on Russia and for two
centuries its national life was arrested, while it received
that Oriental tinge1 which is so apparent to the western
European ; or, as Gibbon expresses it, " the deep and
perhaps indelible mark which a servitude of two hundred
years has imprinted on the character of the Russians/'
The Campaign of Jalal-u-Din in India, A.H. 619 (1222).
—Having effected his escape from Chengiz Khan by
swimming the Indus, Jalal-u-Din collected the remnants
of his army to the number of two thousand men, who
were destitute of everything but valour. Thanks to this
virtue, they were able to rearm and remount themselves,
and Jalal-u-Din, learning that he was being pursued by
two Mongol divisions, retreated towards Delhi. Its ruler
Shams-u-Din Altamish,2 the best known and most capable
member of the so-called " Slave Kings,'7 sent the Sultan
splendid gifts, with the hint that the climate of Delhi
would not suit his health and that he had better establish
himself at Multan. Jalal-u-Din, finding Delhi inhospit-
able, perforce retraced his steps, and invaded Sind with
the aid of reinforcements which had reached him from
Persia. But the Slave King was determined not to allow
so redoubtable a soldier to establish himself even in the
territory of a rival, and a league of Indian princes was
formed to drive him out. Thereupon Jalal-u-Din, seeing
that resistance to such a combination was hopeless, decided
to return to Persia.
His Return to Persia, A.H. 620 (1223).—The daunt-
less Sultan traversed Makran. more or less in the foot-
steps of Alexander the Great, and like him lost the
greater part of his army in its deserts, so that he reached
Kerman with only four thousand men. His arrival
happened to coincide with the moment at which Borak
Hajib, having killed the former Governor, was besieging
the capital, and the city opened its gates to Jalal-u-Din.
Borak Hajib, to whom we shall return later, at first
1  There are about five million Tartars still resident in European Russia and it
similar number ofjews.                                                                                              •
2  Mohamedan Dynasties, p. 295.